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'Help other people': Meet student body president candidate Keshav Javvadi

<p>Junior political science and economics major Keshav Javvadi explains his motivation behind running for Student Body President. "Having seen the flaws within student government, I wanted to take initiative and truly make student government a way to advocate for and represent all students at Carolina."</p>
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Junior political science and economics major Keshav Javvadi explains his motivation behind running for Student Body President. "Having seen the flaws within student government, I wanted to take initiative and truly make student government a way to advocate for and represent all students at Carolina."

Keshav Javvadi is one of two candidates running for student body president this year. Here are Javvadi's goals for the position. 

For junior political science and economics major Keshav Javvadi, running for student body president is about one thing: the people.

“It feels like my purpose in life is to really want to reach out and help other people, because it’s what makes me happiest in life,” Javvadi said. “I just want to make sure that I’m doing my part to give back to the society that has given so much to me.”

Javvadi is from Cary, but he said he developed his love for student government during his time at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, where he served as a senior senator. Now, he's running for student body president to encourage optimism and engagement among UNC students.

Looking ahead to college, he said he was drawn to UNC because of its opportunities to get involved.

“I thrive a lot in an environment that I feel is more open and friendly,” Javvadi said. “I was really content with UNC because I felt it was an environment where if I took that initiative upon myself, I could do as much as I wanted.”

Javvadi found that initiative during his second semester at UNC, when he was elected to the Undergraduate Senate. During his time on the Senate, he’s gained first-hand experience with issues such as textbook affordability, club funding, Silent Sam and more. 

Within the Senate, Javvadi worked to increase internal engagement by keeping senators accountable and improving their work environment as ethics chairperson. 

“The environment wasn’t really conducive to any productive work, and it wasn’t very engaging,” he said. “I was able to come and try to instill that passion back in everybody, and it’s something I was really happy I was able to do.”

Javvadi currently serves as the Undergraduate Senate speaker. He said running for student body president was how he felt he could serve the UNC community best.

“I really want to make sure that I’m doing my best to help others,” Javvadi said. “I feel like the best way I can do that, given my passion, my skills and my knowledge, is by taking the experience that I’ve gathered from the past two years and being speaker of the Senate, and take it to the student body president role.”

Javvadi’s campaign platform contains a variety of goals, including increasing sustainability and affordability and improving community and state relations. He also wants to support marginalized communities and increase accessibility to mental health resources. 

But Javvadi said his top priority is increasing student engagement in order to work toward the goals laid out in his platform.

“We lay out a lot of really salient issues in our platform that I want to work on across the board,” he said. “But for me, we can’t work on any of them sufficiently enough if we don’t get the student engagement piece right.”

If elected, he said he plans to increase student engagement by including representatives from all student organizations as a part of student government. He also wants to create more opportunities for students to have one-on-one conversations with himself and other senators. 

Regardless of Tuesday’s election results, Javvadi hopes to leave a lasting impact on the University. 

“Your voice matters — get involved,” he said. 

Election Day for student body offices is Tuesday, Feb. 23. Polls are open from midnight to midnight.

university@dailytarheel.com

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